40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your 1 God.
that her time of warfare is over, 4
that her punishment is completed. 5
For the Lord has made her pay double 6 for all her sins.”
40:3 A voice cries out,
“In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord;
construct in the desert a road for our God.
40:4 Every valley must be elevated,
and every mountain and hill leveled.
The rough terrain will become a level plain,
the rugged landscape a wide valley.
and all people 8 will see it at the same time.
1 tn The pronominal suffix is second masculine plural. The identity of the addressee is uncertain: (1) God’s people may be addressed, or (2) the unidentified heralds commanded to comfort Jerusalem.
2 tn Heb “speak to the heart of Jerusalem.” Jerusalem is personified as a woman.
4 tn Heb “that she is filled [with] her warfare.” Some understand צָבָא (tsavah, “warfare”) as meaning “hard service” or “compulsory labor” in this context.
5 tn Heb “that her punishment is accepted [as satisfactory].”
6 tn Heb “for she has received from the hand of the Lord double.” The principle of the double portion in punishment is also seen in Jer 16:18; 17:18 and Rev 18:6. For examples of the double portion in Israelite law, see Exod 22:4, 7, 9 (double restitution by a thief) and Deut 21:17 (double inheritance portion for the firstborn).
8 tn Heb “flesh” (so KJV, ASV, NASB); NAB, NIV “mankind”; TEV “the whole human race.”
9 tn Or “indeed.”
10 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).